After another controversial ending to a mid-week road game, the Kansas State Wildcats (13-3, 2-2 Big 12) return home to Bramlage Coliseum to take on the #1 Baylor Bears (15-1, 3-1 Big 12), who are fresh off a road loss of their own to #9 West Virginia.
The Wildcats will face a number one team in Bramlage in consecutive seasons for the first time since Texas and Kansas in 2010 and 2011, respectively, facing Oklahoma last year and Baylor this year. The Cats current home win streak against teams ranked #1 began with that win over Texas, as the Wildcats have won the last three contests at home against #1.
While the top-ranked team has not fared well in Bramlage lately, Baylor has had the Wildcats number in each of the last three contests including the meeting in Manhattan last season, a game the Bears won 82-72. The Bears enter today’s game averaging 76.6 points on 49.4 percent shooting, including 36.8 percent from 3-point range, on the season, and lead the Big 12 in scoring defense and FG percentage defense allowing opponents 60.2 points per game on 38.1 percent shooting.
The Bears are led by junior forward Johnathan Motley, who leads the team in both scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (9.1 rpg) and shoots 52.1 percent from the field. He is joined in double figures by junior guards Manu Lecomte (11.5 ppg) and Al Freeman (11.1 ppg), and junior forward Jo Lual-Acuil, Jr. (10.8 ppg), who also leads the Big 12 in blocked shots at 3.3 bpg.
The Cats are led in scoring, barely, by senior forward Wesley Iwundu’s 12.3 ppg, but he’s trailed closely by soph. guard Barry Brown at 12.1 ppg. In conference play, soph. forward Dean Wade paces the team at 15.5 ppg, with Iwundu and soph. guard Kamau Stokes tied for second at 14.5 ppg. All five Wildcat starters are averaging double-digit scoring, and the Cats are the only team in the Big 12 with five players averaging double figures.
Also, be sure and check out Greg Wood’s full game preview of today’s game.
The game, slated for an 3:30pm CT tip, will be broadcast on ESPNU, with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Mark Plansky (analyst) on the call, and streaming may be available to you (depending on your location and provider/package) at WatchESPN.com. Audio, as always, is available on the K-State Sports Network (Sirius 136/XM 199) and streaming online at K-StateSports.com.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
#25 Kansas State
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown
G: #25 Wesley Iwundu
F: #32 Dean Wade
F: #4 D.J. Johnson
G: #20 Manu Lecomte
G: #24 Ishmail Wainwright
G: #25 Al Freeman
F: #5 Johnathan Motley
F: #0 Jo Lual-Acuil, Jr.